Google has announced a five-year investment of A$1 billion ($740 million, £550 million) in Australia.
It is the company’s most significant investment in the country to date.
The funds will be used to construct a research centre, expand Google’s cloud computing capacity, and finance relationships with local organizations, according to Google.
The initiative, dubbed the Digital Future Initiative, is intended to generate 6,000 direct employment and 28,000 indirect jobs.
At the initiative’s introduction in Sydney, Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated, “Australia can help lead the world’s next wave of innovation, using technology to improve lives, create employment, and make progress.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was also in attendance, praised the proposal, saying, “The decision by Google has huge benefits for Australian businesses as we engage with the economic recovery ahead of us.”
The corporation will engage with local organizations as part of the investment, including Australia’s research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
Google’s move, according to Joshua Kennedy-White of cyber investment firm DivisionX Global, is a “major success” for Australian technology:
“It takes money to turn a concept into a product, and the initial money is the most difficult to come by.”
“If Google gave potential start-ups $250k checks, they could support 4,000 new digital firms in Australia,” he claimed.
Sydney’s bid to become the ‘Silicon Valley of the Southern Hemisphere’ has received a huge boost with this announcement.
Tech Central, a multi-billion dollar center in central Sydney, is set to begin construction next year and will last until 2026.
Large technology corporations, on the other hand, have been chastised in Australia in recent months for failing to pay local news publishers for material that appears on their platforms. They’ve also been accused of facilitating the spread of fake news.
In January, during hearings in Australia’s parliament, Google Australia’s Managing Director Mel Silva threatened to disable the company’s search engine in the nation if it did not pay for information posted on its websites.
The following month, Australia became the world’s first country to enact laws mandating large technology companies, such as Google and Facebook, to pay for news content on their platforms.
There have also been efforts to limit Google’s search engine’s dominance in the nation.
Last month, the head of Australia’s competition watchdog demanded that Google include a “choice screen” on cellphones, allowing consumers to select a different search engine.